We recently sat down with Helene Lerner, author of In Her Power and founder of WomenWorking.com, a worldwide community of businesswomen and experts. In Her Power give women the tools needed to achieve confidence, creativity, and intimacy in every aspect of life.
How did you come to write In Her Power?
In Her Power draws on over thirty years of my experience supporting women. I have been able to have a unique impact on them as a result of the life lessons I’ve learned in overcoming my own struggles with destructive overeating and depression. The world today is in a desperate place and I believe that the connective power of women can unify rather than destroy nations. That’s why it was so important for me to write this book now and to have more women stand in their power.
What makes your book so different than what’s been written in the past?
My company Creative Expansions, Inc. has been in existence for over a decade and through various forms of media — television specials, one of the premier websites for career women WomenWorking.com, and speaking engagements — I’ve had access to a huge network of women. The book is filled with their experiences as well as my own. Through these stories, in addition to reflections and exercises, readers are asked to go deeper and explore what has been blocking them from fully expressing their power. The book deals with nine aspects of a woman’s power and the veils or false beliefs that get in the way. It also introduces the three Spiritual Power Muscles: Connective, Creative and Courageous.
The Dalai Lama prophesized that “the world will be saved by the Western woman,” and yet despite incredible advances, the majority of women still feel they have not accessed their full potential. Why do you believe that is?
Often we’re locked into false beliefs that don’t allow us to access our full potential and keep us stuck. We’re not thinking big enough about ourselves. The way out is to know that we are bigger than that and to listen to our inner truth, our intuition. We need to break habits that are based upon false beliefs and courageously move into areas that may feel uncomfortable. For many of us, it’s stepping outside our comfort zone to experience our power and magnificence.
Women are routinely faced with the difficult task of balancing their career with their desire for family. What advice would you give women struggling to “have it all” in today’s world?
There’s no such thing as balance. It’s more about navigating between work and life every day and doing it very imperfectly, as Ellen Galinsky of Families and Work Institute has said. I think it’s particularly useful for women to share what works for them and to be open with each other about how difficult it is. The problem begins when we feel isolated, stressed, and try to tackle it alone. We simply can’t clone ourselves into 150 different people. But if we’re engaged in communicating with other women who are going through the same struggle, we pick up tips on how to make it easier for us.
Can you share with readers one of the biggest challenges you faced in your path to success? How did you overcome that challenge?
Suffering from a food addiction, I was 50 pounds heavier over 30 years ago and ready to jump out of a window of my apartment. I didn’t see any hope in things being different. In my desperation I reached out for help and got it from a group of people who had knowledge about how not to hurt themselves with food. I realized that I needed to have more spiritual grounding if I was going to stop overeating for all the wrong reasons. I discovered a higher purpose for my life — to help women realize their authentic power and claim their voice and unique abilities. I started my company, Creative Expansions, Inc. with this mission.